LA's draft strategy? Focus shifts to midfield
Entering the week, the LA Galaxy had a dearth of forwards on the roster. With Edson Buddle and his 17 goals now in Germany, the Galaxy could have chosen to fill the void in the SuperDraft.
However, when the draft came and went, the Galaxy selected two players and neither of them were strikers.
The Galaxy traded for Adam Cristman on Tuesday and dealt for Chad Barrett on Thursday. The two join Mike Magee and Jovan Kirovski as the Galaxy’s forwards, for now. The team also holds the rights to Juan Pablo Ángel, whom Arena said he hoped to sign within the next week.
“Those are the ways we’ve chosen to try and make up for the void of Edson, which we might not necessarily do but we’ll see,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said in a conference call. “(Thursday’s) draft was more or less to help us fill other positions on the field.”
Instead of waiting for the 16th pick in Thursday’s draft, Arena filled a need at forward by trading for Barrett, who joined from Toronto FC in exchange for future considerations.
“He’s got good pace. He’s a strong forward. He played very well against us last year at The Home Depot Center,” Arena said.
Six forwards were taken in the first round, including three in the three picks directly before the Galaxy’s pick: Corey Hertzog to New York, Victor Estupinian to Chivas USA and Justin Meram to Columbus. When the options at striker dried up, the Galaxy opted for midfielder Uruguayan midfielder Paolo Cardozo. In the second round, the Galaxy took Hector Jimenez from Cal.
Still, Arena insisted their plan was to take experience at the forward position, and that experience came in the form of Barrett.
“We’re not taking a young kid. We’re taking an experienced player that has had some success in this league,” he said. “I believe (Barrett has) scored 30 goals in MLS. He’s a player we can certainly expect a lot more out of than a player we would be taking out of the SuperDraft.”